You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and that holds true for the brain as well as the body. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to s..."> You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and that holds true for the brain as well as the body. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to s...">
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Laughter is Good for Your Brain

11.09.2013

You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and that holds true for the brain as well as the body. Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain.

 Furthermore, listening to jokes and working out punch lines activates areas of the brain vital to learning and creativity. As psychologist Daniel Goleman notes in his book Emotional Intelligence, “Laughter…seems to help people think more broadly and associate more freely.”

Looking for ways to bring more laughter in your life? Start with these basics:

Laugh at yourself. Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is to talk about the times when we took ourselves too seriously.

When you hear laughter, move toward it. Most of the time, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humour you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and ask, “What’s funny?”

Spend time with fun, playful people. These are people who laugh easily—both at themselves and at life’s absurdities—and who routinely find the humour in everyday events. Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious.

Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your family or friends having fun.

Pay attention to children and emulate them. They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing.

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